Working in close cooperation with the CLiC team (our thanks go especially to Viola Wiegand, Anthony Hennessey and Jamie Lentin for their help with the corpus compilation, annotation and other necessary treatment), the new GLARE 19th Century Children’s Literature corpus (ChiLit) has been made available in November 2017 and it is now fully accessible through the CLiC interface.
CLiC currently represents the state of the art in online interfaces for digital literary research. Not only can you search for individual words, word frequencies, clusters (repeated sequences of words) and keywords but with the help of the ‘KWICGrouper’ you can also conduct sophisticated searches for various repeated patterns that are of interest for stylistic analysis.
One of the major features that distinguishes fiction from other text types is the presence of speech (or, rather, its presentation in written form), so ChiLit (as all the corpora in CLiC) is annotated to distinguish between speech and non-speech, which means that you can for instance run concordances for linguistic features and patterns that occur in speech only (for the new features in CLiC see Viola Wiegand’s blog post from November 8, 2017).
As Martin Wynne points out, CLiC is a big step forward in this respect “because it allows anyone who can get online to explore for themselves the text, word frequency lists, clusters of words, collocations, ‘suspensions’, reported speech, etc. And this can be done not only from a desktop computer, but from a mobile device as well” (Wynne 2018).
ChiLit and other CLiC corpora
In CLiC, ChiLit nicely complements the other 19th century texts (‘DNov’ – Charles Dickens’s novels and ‘19C’ – a 19th Century Reference Corpus), which can be conveniently used as reference corpora for ChiLit. ChiLit contains 71 texts amounting to 4.5 million words (for more detail see my recent CLiC blog post). And what is in the corpus?
We aimed at a representative sample of the Golden Age of English children’s literature, i.e. fiction written for (or read by) children in the 19th century. The words representative sample are a bit tricky here (even more so for a corpus linguist or a statistician!). ‘Representative sample’ is meant to reflect that the selection of books for ChiLit was primarily guided by Children’s Literature. An Anthology 1801–1902 compiled by Peter Hunt (2001) and Children’s Literature. An Illustrated History edited by Peter Hunt (1995). Decisions as to what to include and what to leave out were not always straightforward – selections are always subjective – some of the texts we wanted to initially include were left out for technical reasons; and ultimately, the final selection depended on the availability and quality of the texts on Project Gutenberg (for more detail on the selection see my CLiC blog post).
Author gender representation in GLARE
The GLARE project aims to explore the representation of gender in children’s literature. Hence, we aimed for a balanced representation of female and male authors while keeping other principles of selection in mind. We were able to achieve this to a degree; while the number of books is similar – 35 by female and 36 by male writers; the total number of words is so to a lesser extent: women writers take up 1.9 million words while men writers have 2.5 million words. The representation is, however, unequal in terms of the overall selection of authors. While there are 71 texts, some authors have written more than one text. Overall, 38 different writers are included in ChiLit. This number splits into 14 female and 24 male authors. The table below shows the complete contents of ChiLit.
If you are interested in learning more about our research with ChiLit or in opportunities for your own work with children’s literature do not hesitate to get in touch.
You can also follow us on Twitter @GlareProject
Hunt, P. (2001). Children’s Literature. An Anthology 1801 — 1902. Oxford: Blackwell.
Hunt, P. (Ed.) (1995). Children’s Literature. An Illustrated History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wynne, M. (2018). Dickens and the History of Literary and Linguistic Computing – a (very) short retrospective [Blog post 6.2.2018].
|Anstey, F.||The Brass Bottle||1900|
|Anstey, F.||Vice Versa or A Lesson to Fathers||1882|
|Ballantyne, R. M.||The Coral Island. A Tale of the Pacific Ocean||1858|
|Barrie, J. M.||Peter and Wendy (Peter Pan)||1911|
|Burnett, F. H.||The Secret Garden||1911|
|Carroll, L.||Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland||1865|
|Carroll, L.||Through the Looking-Glass||1871|
|Crockett, S. R.||The Surprising Adventures of Sir Toady Lion With Those of General Napoleon Smith||1897|
|De La Mare, W.||The Three Mulla-mulgars||1910|
|Ewing, J. H.||Jackanapes||1883|
|Ewing, J. H.||Mrs. Overtheway’s Remembrances||1869|
|Falkner, J. M.||Moonfleet||1898|
|Farrar, F. W.||Eric, Or, Little by Little, A Tale of Roslyn School||1858|
|Farrow, G. E.||Adventures in Wallypug-Land||1898|
|Grahame, K.||Dream Days||1898|
|Grahame, K.||The Golden Age||1895|
|Grahame, K.||The Wind in the Willows||1908|
|Haggard, H. R.||Allan Quatermain||1887|
|Haggard, H. R.||King Solomon’s Mines||1885|
|Henty, G. A.||Winning His Spurs. A Tale of the Crusades||1882|
|Henty, G. A.||With Clive in India. Or, The Beginnings of an Empire||1884|
|Hughes, T.||Tom Brown’s Schooldays (By An Old Boy)||1857|
|Ingelow, J.||Mopsa the Fairy||1869|
|Jefferies, R.||Wood Magic. A Fable||1881|
|Kingsley, C.||Madam How and Lady Why. Or, First Lessons in Earth Lore for Children||1870|
|Kingsley, C.||The Water-Babies||1863|
|Kipling, R.||Stalky & Co.||1899|
|Kipling, R.||The Jungle Book||1894|
|Lang, A.||Prince Prigio. From “His Own Fairy Book”||1889|
|MacDonald, G.||At the Back of the North Wind||1871|
|MacDonald, G.||The Princess and the Goblin||1872|
|Marryat, F.||Masterman Ready. The Wreck of the “Pacific”||1841|
|Marryat, F.||The Children of the New Forest||1847|
|Marryat, F.||The Settlers in Canada||1844|
|Martineau, H.||Feats on the Fiord||1841|
|Martineau, H.||The Crofton Boys||1841|
|Martineau, H.||The Peasant and the Prince||1841|
|Martineau, H.||The Settlers at Home||1841|
|Meade, L. T.||A World of Girls: The Story of a School||1886|
|Mrs. Molesworth||The Carved Lions||1895|
|Mrs. Molesworth||The Cuckoo Clock||1877|
|Mrs. Molesworth||The Tapestry Room: A Child’s Romance||1879|
|Nesbit, E.||Five Children and It||1906|
|Nesbit, E.||Nine Unlikely Tales||1901|
|Nesbit, E.||The Book of Dragons||1899|
|Nesbit, E.||The Railway Children||1905|
|Nesbit, E.||The Story of the Amulet||1906|
|Nesbit, E.||The Story of the Treasure Seekers||1899|
|Potter, B.||The Tale Of Benjamin Bunny||1904|
|Potter, B.||The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck||1908|
|Potter, B.||The Tale of Peter Rabbit||1902|
|Potter, B.||The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin||1903|
|Potter, B.||The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies||1909|
|Potter, B.||The Tale of Two Bad Mice||1904|
|Reed, T. B.||The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic’s: A School Story||1887|
|Ruskin, J.||The King of the Golden River; or the Black Brothers: A Legend of Stiria||1841|
|Sewell, A.||Black Beauty. The Autobiography of a Horse||1877|
|Sinclair, C.||Holiday House: A Series of Tales||1839|
|Stevenson, R. L.||Kidnapped||1886|
|Stevenson, R. L.||Treasure Island||1883|
|Stretton, H.||Alone In London||1869|
|Stretton, H.||Jessica’s First Prayer — Jessica’s Mother||1867|
|Stretton, H.||Little Meg’s Children||1868|
|Strickland, A.||The Rival Crusoes; Or, The Ship Wreck||1826|
|Thackeray, W. M.||The Rose and the Ring||1854|
|Tytler, A. F.||Leila at Home. A continuation of Leila in England||1870|
|Wilde, O.||The Happy Prince, and Other Tales||1888|
|Yonge, C. M.||The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations||1856|
|Yonge, C. M.||The Dove in the Eagle’s Nest||1866|
|Yonge, C. M.||The Heir of Redclyffe||1853|
|Yonge, C. M.||The Little Duke: Richard the Fearless||1854|
Please cite this blog as follows: Čermáková, A. (2018, 14 February). ChiLit: the GLARE 19th Century Children’s Literature Corpus in CLiC [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/glareproject/2018/02/14/chilit-the-glare-19th-century-childrens-literature-corpus-in-clic/.